Tuesday, December 17, 2013

We Bought a Fixer: Studio Renovation

Hi there. How are you?

As long time readers know, we bought a "fixer-upper" home in December of 2012. We've renovated the entire main floor and now have moved on to our basement.

Matt has been itching to make art again, so right before Thanksgiving, we started working on our new studio. 

The space we've decided to use as our studio was actually two connected rooms. It was kind of a bedroom and den thing. The first thing we did was tear out the wall between the two rooms. Now we've got a large "L" shaped space. Sorry, I don't have a good shot of the layout yet.

Matt installed lots of pot lights and track lighting to brighten up the space.

We spent this past weekend painting. It's amazing what a coat of white paint can do to a space! I love how the exposed beam pops against the white.

We're installing interlocking foam tiles on the floor. It feels good under foot, was a breeze to lay down and was very reasonably priced. 

Matt couldn't help but inject a little bit of color and personality in the space right away.  He gave the vent a coat of spray paint before re-installing it. Love it!

Matt is now working on building a large work table and some more built-in storage. It's really going to be a great space for both of us to work in. Can't wait until it's finished!

As we are traveling for the holidays, this will probably be my last post for the year. Wishing you and yours all the best! Ta-Ta!

P.S. I'll be sending out a special holiday gift to everyone on my e-mail list later this week. Sign up here if you'd like to be included. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

For your gift-giving pleasure: A HALF OFF CLEARANCE SALE!

 Hi there. How are you?

I just finished up my last show of the year, so now I'm looking ahead to 2014! I have a collection of oldie but goodie pieces I'd love to clear out to make way for brand new work. My need to clean house is your gain! All of these original pieces are now HALF OFF! Art makes a terrific gift and there is something for everyone at every price point.

1. The Ghost, featuring Philippe Starck's iconic Ghost Chair, $62.50
2. Design your dream, an 8x10 Mixed Media Original, $138.00
3. Wish I could, a mid-century modern vignette, $138.00

1. Need to know, a lovely floral collage on paper, $20.00
2. Orbitals, this abstract work would work for anyone one your list, $15.00
3. Virtual Insanity, an abstract floral on canvas, $23.00

1. A Spring Garden, give the gift of spring with this 5"x7" framed collage, $38.00
2. Patchwork Orchid, a lovely 8"x10" abstract floral, $75.00
3.  Renew, a tiny mixed media collage to brighten their day, $20.00

1. Sedia, one of the first chairs I created using a ball-point pen, $50.00
2. Lonely in Love, featuring a sweet heart shaped chair, $75.00

1. Spark, a striking 5"x7" mixed media collage on cradled hardboard, $50.00
2. Summer Song, featuring a page from a vintage Chinese book, $75.00
3. Truth and Beauty, utilizes a multitude of patterned papers, $75.00

All of these pieces are available on my etsy shop and will ship within 1 business day of purchase. If you'd rather not shop through etsy, feel free to contact me directly.

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season! Ta-Ta for now. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving in New Orleans

Hi! How are you? Did you enjoy Thanksgiving weekend? We sure did!

Early Thanksgiving morning, we hopped on the Amtrak bound for our 2nd annual trip to New Orleans. This year we got smart and paid for a sleeper car on the train.  It wasn't spacious, but it made a world of difference! 

As usual we did our fair share of exquisite eating and drinking.......

.......And saw plenty of weird. 

On Thanksgiving night, we saw Rebirth Brass Band. Awesome!

We walked a ton and I managed to snap 100 pictures on my iPhone along the way!

We attended a pop-up bar in the backyard of a Garden district home and drank fancy cocktails made by two well known Nola mixologists. 

As usual, New Orleans did not disappoint. Looking forward to next year! 

Ta-Ta for now!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Tuesday News: My Holiday Specials

Hi there. How are you? 
Can you believe that it's almost Thanksgiving? 

We're heading to New Orleans again this year for Thanksgiving weekend. Can't wait! Since we'll be out of town for the whole "Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday" shopping extravaganza, I've decided against doing my usual sale in my etsy shoppe. But don't worry, that doesn't mean there aren't any deals/specials to be had!

Shop Specials:
  • With every purchase between now and December 19th, I'll include one of my gift tags, so you can snazzy up your gift.
  •  I'm also offering a $5.00 discount on any purchase of $20.00 or more.  Just use code "SHOPEARLY" at checkout. 
  • As always if there is something you've seen on jenniferjohansson.com or at an art fair that you'd like to purchase, and I don't carry it in my etsy shoppe, I'll still honor the discount!)

Shipping Deadlines:
  • All orders must be placed by Thursday, December 19th to ensure Christmas delivery. 
  • Between December 20th and January 2nd, I'll be on vacation and will be unable to fulfill any orders. So get your shoppin' on now! 
Early Thanksgiving blessings to you! 
See you next Tuesday. Ta-Ta! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Tuesday News: Baltimore Oriole Print

Hi there. How are you?
This blog has been long neglected, but I'm to try to step my game. My plan is write a new post every Tuesday. Can you help me stick to it? You have my permission to publicly flog me if I don't post! 

I have to admit, I play favorites. My Baltimore Oriole is so my fave of my bird series. My husband thinks he looks mean. I think he's full of personality! I was thrilled to sell the original Baltimore Oriole piece a couple of weeks ago at holiday craft fair. Now, I can offer the little guy as a print!

The 5" x 7" image is printed with archival pigment based inks on artist quality heavy matte paper. There is a small white border around the print for your matting/framing convenience. It will be signed and titled on the front. At just $12, he'd make a nice holiday gift for any bird nerd. Get your very own Baltimore Oriole print HERE.

One more bit of news....I've got a shop set up over on Papernstitch.com for the holidays. There's a COUPON CODE over there just waiting for you to use in my shop!

See you next Tuesday. Ta-ta!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2013 Holiday Cards are Here!

Hi There. How are you?
I'm happy to present my 2013 holiday card line!

You probably recognize my Dala horse. It's already available as a print and card set. 
I just decided to add the "God Jul" (Merry Christmas in Swedish) for the holidays.

My other two 2013 designs were inspired by classic Christmas carols.
This card borrows a line from "The Christmas Song", written in 1944 and made famous by Nat King Cole.

The Christmas Song card is the only card with a printed message on the inside.
The others are blank for your own personal holiday message. 

My "Let it Snow" card is available in both a printed version and as an instant download. This digital download allows you to print as many cards as you like, and send them to everyone on your holiday list!

Be sure to scoop up all of these new designs in my etsy shop, or at one of my holiday shows. Also, feel free to contact me if you’re interested in wholesale. Ta-Ta!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

No Retreat. No Surrender.

Hi there. How are you? I've missed you.

I've been working "full-time" hours at my part time job lately. There's been little time for creating, let alone blogging. It's been over a month since I've posted here. Naughty!

My capsule (tiny studio) has set empty for weeks and I've honestly felt a little off.  Not spending time working with my "right brain" really gets to me! Luckily, things are starting to slow down a bit at work, so I can reclaim some of my time for artistic pursuits.

I've spent the last two days working on some new holiday goodies. Hopefully I can get things photographed and ready to share soon. 

In the mean time, enjoy some autumn Instagrams. Ta-Ta for now.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Hometown Art Fair this Weekend!

Hi there. How are you?

I'm excited to be heading my hometown of Rockford, Illinois this weekend for the Greenwich Village Art Fair. This is my favorite fair of the year! Find me in booth 90, right across from the Point Lounge. I will debut some brand new, never before seen pieces at Greenwich. Be excited! I am!

As you may be able to tell, I'm feeling much better and more confident since my last post.  There's been no miraculous improvement in my business, but I've simply realized (again) that I like making art, and I'll continue to make it. Sales will come! Until then, I'm keeping my head down and enjoying the artmaking process. Thanks to all of you for your continued support.

Looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces in Rockford this weekend.  Ta-Ta for now.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Art Fairs are a Tough Way to Make a Living.

Hi there. How are you? Me....I've been better. 

2 years ago, I quit my teaching job. We moved 300 miles away from home, so my husband could start a new career. I was hoping to make art a full time gig in our new surroundings. 2 years later, I'm feeling dejected and pretty lost. Full time artist, I am not. 

Art fairs were part of my full time artist plan. I had been doing a fair or two each year while I was still teaching and had much success. (I won "Best of Show" in the first art fair I ever participated in.) Now....I'm not so sure about the art fair gig. Let me explain.

I spent this past weekend participating in an art fair in Chicago. This should have been a good show for me, or so I thought. It was a well run, well promoted fair, with a great reputation in a well-to-do Chicago neighborhood. I was surrounded by high caliber artists and I was excited. Conditions seemed ideal for sales. 

Before I get to the bad news,  I'm happy to report that I did sell this Male Cardinal original! (I knew this guy was special and would sell quick. I did this piece just a week before the show.) Otherwise, this fair was a bust..... I  didn't make enough money to cover the application and booth fees I had to pay to participate in this show. This was the second fair in a row this summer that I've lost money doing. Ouch. 
I've had bad art fairs before. Plenty, in fact. But there seemed to be a very logical reason why those shows turned out bad. The show was poorly promoted, the fair attendees were not my target demographic,  or I was placed in a really bad spot with no traffic. There seems to be no excuse for this one. It's hard not to take this one personally......I start questioning my skills as an artist and a salesman.  I wonder if it will ever be possible for me to make it as a full time artist. I have my home town art fair in 2 weeks time. This usually is my most profitable show every year. But after 2 really bad shows, I'm even worried about this one. I'm losing my confidence.

There are plenty of people out there who make their living at art fairs. I have some ceramicist friends that have been doing the art fair circuit full time for 20 years. I just don't think I will be one of those people. It is so much work and travel for so little reward! I know I don't have the constitution for that!

I'm at a crossroads. After 2 years, I've spent much more money on fees, travel expenses and supplies than I've made participating in art fairs. My credit card debt is ballooning and it doesn't seem fiscally responsible for me to continue to pursue many more art fairs. Matt and I can't afford for me not to make money!  If I'm going to make it as a full time artist, I need to find other revenue streams....But where? This is my current struggle. I'm feeling pretty lost right now. 

Don't worry, I'm not giving up, but I have to find a better way. Ta-Ta.